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ERIC Number: EJ1003151
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Planning at a Higher Level: Ideas, Form, and Academic Language in Student Prewriting
Morris, Paul
English Journal, v102 n2 p85-92 Nov 2012
For students, writing is too frequently a matter of going through the motions, perhaps no truer than with the traditional academic essay. Although there are many culprits for this disengagement, one is surely an over-emphasis on form--and particularly set form--to the detriment of content. When form becomes formula, planning is stultified, losing much of its generative potential. Yet knowing how to map ideas into effective structures is important, and planning certainly warrants explicit instruction. The prewriting activity the author explains in this article encourages students to experience form as a "rhetorical" rather than as a "prescriptive" constraint. The prewriting the author teaches consists of two main, interlinked activities, one primarily to help students focus their ideas, the other to give them shape. The author describes an easily adaptable, multistep prewriting process--including brainstorming, group discussion, and visual representation--to help students compose sophisticated, critical essays about leadership in "The Tempest." (Contains 2 figures and 3 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A